Every kind of perceived danger can close our minds without consciously thinking about it. We make up our minds in a hurry to dismiss, disregard and disrespect those who appear dangerous. Our minds close as a safety precaution in order to be ready for fast "fight or flight" reactions. Times of danger are no time for exploring possibilities, reflecting of different meanings or delving deeper into the alarming situation to come up with a different diagnose.
This raises the question "how do minds open?". It can be argued that we live in constant danger where there is never a good time to open our minds. That may be true in abuse relationships, war zones and processes of elimination. But there are many occasions where it appears safe and seems wise to open our minds for the time being. We typically open our minds whenever:
- it seems like someone has "got our back" and is looking out for our interests as if we're on common ground
- it's evident that some gets our point of view, sees things through our eyes and shares some of our interpretations
- it feels like someone is saying "peek a boo I see you" to us by accurately reading our intentions, frustrations and connections
- it's a relief that someone has "de-escalated the adversarial tensions" by acknowledging conflicting interests, concerns and considerations
- it's apparent that someone is reaching out to better understand us, explore more of where we're coming from and what we have in mind
- it's heartwarming that someone is approaching us with respect, fascination and compassion
- it's informative that someone understands a beneficial facet about our own conduct and effect on others better than we do ourselves
Each of these experiences suggest it's time to feel safe. We can let our guard down and open our minds. Times have changed for the moment from needing to act defensive, cautious and vigilant. We can let in what's happening as if some good will come of it that we're not controlling or making happen ourselves. We feel like we're getting served well, cared for insightfully and protected from immediate dangers.